Demand for Fairtrade increases during the pandemic

Fairtrade is experiencing a boom in demand, including bananas, cocoa, coffee and wine - reflecting the extent to which the pandemic has sparked an increased global consciousness for ethical goods.

Fairtrade purchases increased by 15 per cent in the last year and almost 30 per cent of consumers pledged to buy more Fairtrade goods in the future, according to Ethical Consumer’s recent Ethical Markets Report produced in collaboration with Co-operative Group. At the same time, Fairtrade wine sales are also up from 2019: Lidl alone saw a tripling in wine sales from the previous year.

The move to ethical decisions is also reflected in a survey, where active choice – shoppers choosing Fairtrade products over an alternative – is higher than ever. According to Waitrose’s How Britain Shops Report, over one in four shoppers were actively seeking out the Fairtrade logo when shopping online in 2020, particularly within the 18-24 bracket. In fact, searches on for Fairtrade sugar were up 94 per cent, for Fairtrade bananas up 40 per cent and Fairtrade coffee up 31 per cent compared to searches in 2019.

On top of this, leading online retailers introduced new measures in 2020 to help make Fairtrade even more accessible for online shoppers, with Ocado launching an exclusive Fairtrade aisle, and Amazon selecting Fairtrade to be included in their Climate Friendly Pledge.

Many brands and retailers have rallied round in 2020, making impressive commitments to Fairtrade and the producers in their supply chains. The Co-op played a lead role both in protecting producers overseas and vulnerable people. Coupled with UK government funding, producers in west and east Africa have received extra support, working with Co-op, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Mondelez and MM Flowers.

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